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Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware

Early Settlements Churches Assessment List, 1785
Mills   Schools
Concord ~ Mills & Distillers ~ Church ~ Physicians
Bethel ~ Improved Order of Red Men

The Hundred of Broad Creek is located in the southern-central part of Sussex County, and takes its name from a branch of the Nanticoke, Broad Creek, that divides it from Little Creek Hundred. It originally extended to the southern dividing line from Maryland. The legislature by an act passed April 4) 1873, erected Gumboro Hundred out of it, and a small part of Dagsboro Hundred. The boundaries as at present constituted, are on the north by Nanticoke Hundred, on the west by Dagsboro and Gumboro Hundreds, on the south by Little Creek Hundred and on the west by the Northwest Fork of the Nanticoke River, which divides it from Seaford Hundred, embracing within these bounds about fitly square miles of territory, the greater portion of which is good farming land, the best land being in the central and eastern sections, the western portion being very sandy. The land is particularly adapted to the cultivation of corn, and large crops of this staple are grown yearly. The cultivation of straw-berries and blackberries is more extensively engaged in here than in any other section of the state, some of the strawberry patches covering a large number of acres. Early in the eighteenth century large quantities of tobacco were grown in the southeastern section, on the banks of the Nanticoke and Broad Creeks. After the year 1780, no mention of its cultivation can be found. Sorghum was also formerly grown; peaches were early cultivated here but mostly for home consumption and the manufacture of peach brandy. It has only been of late years that this fruit has been cultivated to any extent for shipment. The farmers of the hundred are of a thrifty, intelligent class, and have brought the land to a high state of cultivation and accumulated considerable wealth. The Nanticoke and Broad Creeks, and their numerous branches, form the chief means of irrigation, in addition to furnishing most excellent mill power. The branches extend into every section of the hundred. The Nanticoke is navigable its entire length along the west side, there being a varying depth from eleven to thirty feet. Broad Creek is navigable for small vessels to Laurel, and those of larger draught to Bethel. The rivers furnish excellent means for the shipment of farm products and manufactured articles to Baltimore and the south. Numerous vessels sail from Laurel and Seaford to Baltimore. The Delaware railroad which reached here in 1859, and runs down the western side, brings northern points within a few hours distance.

Early Settlements

The Penns never exercised their authority in this hundred prior to the settlement of the division line, and there does not appear of record any mention of any land granted by them prior to 1776. There were very few settlements made in the hundred prior to 1730, and those mainly on the streams in the southwestern sec ion. Large portions of the land remained vacant for years, and it was not until the year 1838 that the last piece of vacant land in the hundred was granted. The early settlers came from Maryland and Virginia, and in the year 1776 large numbers emigrated from the upper part of the State and from Pennsylvania. The first tract of which there is record is one to William Green for two thousand five hundred acres, granted in the year 1680, and located west of the road from Laurel to Seaford and running to within a few hundred yards of Bethel.

The Nanticoke Indians were numerous in this vicinity, and in order to aid immigration and furnish the Indians a permanent home, the General Assembly of Maryland, in the year 1717, passed an act directing George Gale, Samuel Worthington and Charles Bal-lard to lay out tracts for a reservation for the Nanticokes. The commissioners selected as a site this tract and one of five hundred acres on the south side, upon which the town of Laurel now stands. The land passed on the 4th day of December, 1717, the consideration paid Green being fifty thousand pounds of tobacco. The Indians occupied the land for many years and built a harbor on the farm now owned by Levin Hitch. They cultivated the land to some extent. The Indians were moved further west, and by act of May 24, 1768, William Allen. Levin Gale and Henry Steele were authorized by the State of Maryland to sell the land. John Mitchell purchased two thousand two hundred and thirty-six acres, and Joseph Foreman the remainder, said to contain five hundred and eighteen acres. A portion of the land came into the possession of Dr. James Derrickson, and among the owners of the original tract are Eggleson Moore's heirs, S. J. Wheatley, Levin Hitch, Mrs. David Moore, W. S. Hitch, Mrs. M. A. Collins, William S. Moore, John T. Moore and Henry Clay Lewis. On the farm occupied by Henry Clay Lewis is the house built by Caleb Rows, Esq., the father of Governor William Ross.

"Snow Hill," a tract of one hundred acres, was granted, November 6, 1728, to John O'Neal, and is described as being on the east side of the Nanticoke River, and about two miles from Broad Creek. This land is located near the Conoway farm. John Caldwell was one of the earliest settlers in thin hundred, and took up two large tracts of land, one of one thousand acres, April 1, 1730, and another of four hundred acres, called "Puzzle," August 8, 1732. These tracts are situated on the south side of the easternmost branch of Broad Creek, in what was then called Wimbesocom Neck, which is the neck which the Bull and Melson mill-ponds nearly surround. A portion of the one thousand acre tract passed to John Cannon, June 10, 1734, and on the same day Philip King came into the possession of the tract "Puzzle." This John Cannon was the first of the large family of that name that came to the hundred, if not the first that came into the State. The owners of parts of these old tracts are R. M. Rodney, J. Gibson Cannon, T. L. Cannon.

In the same neighborhood John Walters received a grant, December 15, 1788, for one hundred acres, and November 4, 1738, Joseph Paiximore received a grant of the tract "Venture." William L. Burton owns portions of these tracts.

William Philips, July 3, 1741, was granted one hundred and fifty acres, at the head of Wimbesocom Branch, called "Third Choice." This land was re-warranted to John Philips, April 8, 1752, and the greater portion of it is owned at present by Nancy Philips. On the east of the above-mentioned tract of "Puzzle," Thomas Sherman was granted "Collins' Good Will," on December 20, 1741, and containing one hundred acres. This is the same land that is now owned by Jacob W. Cannon and George W. McGee. The Wingates were among the early settlers near here, and at different times took up large tracts, but they have long since disappeared from among the land-owners. The tract granted to Robert King, May 14, 1749, containing two hundred and fourteen acres, was re- warranted to Philip Wingate, October 19th, of the same year, and is situated at the head of what was known as the Windsor Branch, near an old county road, and is the same land that is owned now by the Hopkins Brothers and Edmund Hitchens.

The Matthews were early here. The tract "Teague's Promise," containing seven hundred and eighty-five acres, originally granted to Jacob Downs, December 15, 1760, and then known as " Jacob's Inheritance," was adjoining lands of Timmons, Stockley and others. A prior tract had been granted to Matthews, March 10, 1743, and was *' standing in a neck called Wimbesocom Neck, in a lot, plat, piece of land about one-quarter of a mile from where John Wingate then lived." Teague Matthews also received on a Maryland patent four hundred and sixty-five acres, which were resurveyed to Philip Matthews April 10, 1785, and the greater portion of this Matthews land is owned by Stansbury J. Matthews, George Callin, George W. McGee and Henry Clay Matthews; the latter also owns a part of the land granted to the Bettties, who were early settlers in this locality.

George Gwars took up, on the 18th of March, 1746, three hundred and eighty-four acres of land on the Gray's Branch, the same land that is now owned by Jacob Whaley, George Messick and George Matthews.

Northwest of these grants and on the Assacatom Branch and on the Georgetown Road, Samuel Hopkins, one of the progenitors of that numerous family, took up a tract of seven hundred acres on February 25, 1747. This is the same land that is now owned by J. H. Messick, Mrs. Robert Lamden, William Spicer, Nelly Spicer, Burton West and George Cannon. The Messicks, from whom J. H. Messick, of this hundred, and Miles Messick, of Nanticoke Hundred, are descended, were early settlers. The first of the family to settle here was Isaac Messick, who took up six hundred acres of land December 17, 1728. He had two sons, John and Covington Messick. This Messick land is now owned by G. Philip Hitch, Washington Ricketts, Dr. Robert Ellegood and others in that vicinity.

"Wolf Pitt Ridge" was surveyed to Peter Gaudy March 21st, 1758, and was adjoining "Peter's Choice."

Collins' Industry, including what was styled the mill property, was warranted to Joseph Collins August 20, 1760. It is described as being on the north-west side of a branch issuing out of Broad Creek, called the Great Branch, and about twenty perches from the mill-dam and containing twelve hundred and sixteen acres. It was adjoining another tract, granted prior to Jacob Addition and called "Branch Side." Of this land, in the year of 1795, Manaen Bull purchased four hundred and eighty-five acres, Josiah Truitt, two hundred acres ; and Joseph John-son one hundred acres. This is a portion of the same land where J. H. Boyce and W. Whaley located, on the north side of the road leading from Laurel to Lowe's Cross Roads.

The Ellegoods, from which Dr. R. G. Ellegood, of Concord, is descended, were also among the early settlers, and were prominent personages. William Ellegood obtained a patent for 1104 acres March 3, 1762, The land was named " Isabella's Choice," and is described as being on the east side of the Nanticoke River, and above a creek. Of this land William sold to his son, Robert, two hundred acres March 30, 1776, and two hundred acres March 30, 1776, to his son John. Dr. R. G. Ellegood, of Concord, holds a portion of this land, as also does Tilghman Spicer, & J. Wheatley, Wm O'Neil, Elijah Hitch and Mia. J. T. Wright. Among those who came in 1776 were Peter Dolbee, who. May 20, 1776, took out a warrant for a tract called "Addition to Right's Choice," and is described as being on the north side of the third branch of Broad Creek, and extending from Mathew Hayes to the run of said branch, and adjoining his home place.

Henry Clay Lewis and William H. Moore own a large part of this tract. Jonathan Dal bee took up several tracts on the 8th of March, among which were "Second Thought," "Rathbone" and "Fortune." This was adjoining lands formerly taken up by Chas. Minas.

Joseph Melson came in 1776 and took up the tract "Melson's Safety," "Conclusion," the same date, and *• Gibraltar." He also acquired large quantities of land both by purchase and warrant, estimated at five thousand acres. Among those who now own the Melson lands are Elias Carmean, Burton West, J. C. Rodney, John Rodney of "D." J. Gibson Cannon, John Hudson, William H. Rodney, George W. Magee, Thomas Scott, Joshua Philips, Elisha Cannon, George Cannon, William Carey, Hamilton Philips and Henry C. Matthews.

Levin Bacon patented in 1797 a tract of four hundred and fifty-four acres, and in 1801 hold it to Levin Hitch, from whom two hundred and sixty-one acres has descended to the present owner, Levin S. Hitch. The other owners are W. W. Dashiel, James H. Wright and Thomas S. Lamden.

The following is the Assessment List of Broad Creek Hundred for the year 1785, the hundred at that time embracing Gumboro' Hundred :

Churches

Broad Greek Baptist Church
This church was organized May 31, 1781, by the Revs. Philip Hughes and Elijah Baker and was the third of the denomination in the State. At the start there were forty seven members, who were:

Adare Bacon

Elizabeth Baker
John Benson
Leven Bacon
Edward Blades
Mary Blades
Comfort Boyce

Rachel Calleway
Rebecca Corwin

George Davis
Mary Davis
Leah Dusky
William Dusky

Anna Gibbins
John Gibbins
Joshua Gibbins
Joshua Gibbins, Jr.
Samuel Gibbins
Sarah Gibbins
Eunice Gordy
Moses Gordy
Sarah Grace
Thomas Grace

Edmund Hitchen
Tabitha Hitchen

Sarah Loyd
William Loyd

Alexander Mattocks
Sarah Mattocks
William Mattocks

Edward Noles
Thomas Noles
Sarah Oglesby
Thomas Oglesby
William Oliffin
Elizabeth Oliphant

Ann Perdue
Delilah Perdue
James Perdue
Sarah Philips
Rhoda Pointer

Sophia Shahavane
Jane Smith

Emanuel Walker
Philip Waller
Neal, (Negro)
Rachael, (Negro)

In ten years the church decreased from forty-seven to twenty-three by reason of the removal of several families to Georgia and North Carolina, and the detachment of a large number to form Gravelly Branch in 1785. Rev. John Gibbins succeeded Messrs. Hughes and Baker, taking charge of the church in 1784. He was born in the neighborhood in 1739 and died November 6, 1786. He was succeeded by Rev. John Benson, who previous to his ordination and during a vacancy in the pulpit had read sermons to the people. He was born in Sussex County, July 22, 1758, and was ordained a minister June 14, 1790, and took charge of this church and the one at Gravelly Branch. Rev. Joseph Flood filled the pulpit from August 11, 1792. Flood was a native of the Welsh Tract. No church building was erected until about 1800, the meetings prior to that time having been held in private houses. The lot for the church was purchased of John Benston. In 1856 the building was remodeled and completed. It never had been plastered up to that time. The church is connected with the Old School Baptist Church. Among the ministers who have officiated there are Rev. Warren Slayton, Rev. George Slayton, Rev. Thomas Waters, Rev. John A. Rodgers, Rev. Jesse Green, Rev. Ephraim Rittenhouse, _____ Timons, Thomas Waters and Hosea Boyce.

Mt. Zion M. E, Church is a continuation of what was first known as Elzy Moore's meeting-house, and afterwards, in 1825, Wesley, and the present name in 1852, when the present church was formed. The old church stood on the road towards Bethel, and near S. J. Wheatley's present house. The original church was organized in 1809. May 19th of that year Matthias Moore and Charles Moore conveyed eighty-one square perches of land, part of a tract called "Manlove's Grove," to Elzy Moore, Henry Smith, Charles Beaucamp, Gilly Moore, Rubia Martino, Charles Moore and Cornelius Morris. About 1852 the old building was torn down, a part of the congregation going to form Bethel, at town of Bethel, and the greater number to form Mt. Zion. The old building was of frame and twenty-five by thirty-five feet. The meetings were held for a short time in the Washington School-house, and in 1858 the present building was erected on the road from Seaford to Laurel, at a cost of eight hundred dollars. In 1872 the church was repaired at a cost of one thousand dollars. The trustees of the church at present are T. L. Spicer, John H. Spicer, J. A. Marvel, Luther T. Moore, William O'Neal and H. W. Philips. There are eighty-eight members. The church up to 1868 was in various circuits, and the ministers will be found in those circuits. In the year 1868 the Lewisville, (now Bethel) Circuit was formed, with Bethel, Mt. Zion and Wallace (an old appointment that was shortly afterwards dropped). Asbury and St. Thomas' were in for a short time and at present Bladesville, Mt. Zion and Bethel. The ministers since the creation of the circuit, have been Rev. E. H. Millen, Rev. Samuel Webb, Rev. A. A. Fisher, Rev. G. W. Wilcox, Rev. Robert Roe, Rev. W. M. Green, Rev. W. P. Bowen, Rev. A. T. Melvin and the present pastor, W. B. Gregg.

Sailor's Bethel M, E. Church
In the year 1856 those members of the old Wesley who lived in the vicinity of Lewisville decided to erect a church. Captain William Wheatley, Elijah Coulbourn, Jeremiah Eskridge, William H. Hearn and Alexander W. Hopkins were elected trustees. A neat building was erected at a cost of eleven hundred dollars which was used until the year 1884, when the present stricture, one of the handsomest in Sussex County, was erected at a cost of four thousand one hundred and twenty-five dollars. A. T. Melvin was the preacher in charge at the time of the erection of the church and it was due to his efforts in a great measure that the building was erected. The dedication sermon was preached by the Rev. J. B. Quigg. The church is in a flourishing condition and has one hundred and twenty members. The present trustees are William T. Moore, John B. Quillen, George K. Philips, George F. Philips, George S. Lloyd, H. W. Bell, John P. Owens, John H. Connelly and William T. Hopkins.

St. John's M. P. Church
The town of Bethel is also provided with a fine church in the St. John's Methodist Protestant. It was built in 1858 at a cost of two thousand two hundred dollars. The land was given by Jonathan Moore, who was one of the prime movers in the erection and formation. The trustees at present are S. J. Wheatley and Jonathan Moore. There is a membership of twenty. Among the ministers who have occupied the pulpit are Rev. G. P. Winner, Rev. J. L. Mills, Rev. John Benston, Rev. J. E. Nicholson, Rev. John Straughan, Rev. J. T. Valient, Rev. J. T. Eversole, Rev. Dr. J. T. Ewell, Rev. J. B. Jones, Rev. H. C. Cushen and the present pastor, G. L. Backus.

Trinity M. P. Church
This church is situated in the western end of the hundred, near Rodney's store, and was erected in the year 1873. The church was formed in 1866 and meetings were held in the school-house. In the year 1873, George W. McGee gave land upon which to build a church. The building was erected at a cost of one thousand dollars. The Building Committee were William H. Rodney, George W. McGee and William Mitchell. William H. Bodney, George W. McGee, William Mitchell, William S. Warrington and Hamilton B. Truitt were elected a board of trustees. The trustees in 1887 are William H. Rodney, George W. McGee, William J. West, H. D. Powell, George A. Betts and Josiah C. Johnson. At the formation of the church there were forty members; the number has been increased to seventy-five the present year. The church has been supplied with ministers from a circuit composed of Shiloh, Trinity, St. Paul's and Providence Churches. The list of ministers is as follows:

1866, Rev. Thomas H. Burgess
1868. Rev. Jeremiah Clay
1869, Rev. I. T. Adkins
1871, Rev. William D. Litsinger
1874, Rev. J. H. Ellegood
1877, Rev. William A. Crouse
1880, Rev. L. J. Lelich (during this gentleman's time a fine parsonage was erected)
1882, J. M. Ellderdice
1884 to '87, J. E. Nicholson.

Shiloh M. P. Church
This church was erected at a cost of one thousand dollars in the year 1879 upon land donated by W. W. Dashiel, of Laurel, and is situated on the Laurel Road, near the farm of the late Robert Lambden. Levin S. Hitch and Reuben James were the trustees at the time of the erection of the church. At present there are sixty members. The ministers are given in the article upon Trinity.

Schools

There were very few schools of any kind in the hundred prior to the year 1829, when the county was laid out into districts. In Elzy Moore's meeting-house a free school was conducted for several years, and two or three subscription schools were run in the hundred, one being near Concord and the other the predecessor of what is now known as the Washington School-house. These schools were rarely open more than three months in the year. The districts laid out in 1829 were Nos. 48, 44, 45, 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60. Schools were erected in all these districts in the years 1831 and 1832 . At present there are eleven. They are open from five to eleven months a year; the average in most districts, however, is not over Biz and one-half months. The schools are improving and every year finds them open for a longer period. In the year 1886 there were four hundred and eighty-eight scholars in attendance.

Concord

The town of Concord was laid out in 1796 on a tract of land called ''Partnership," on which Pine Grove Furnace was erected. The company established a settlement here thirty years before the town was laid out and made it for a time a busy hive of industry.

In 1763, soon after the establishment of Deep Creek Furnace about three miles above the present town of Concord, a company was organized for the purpose of making iron at the place now Concord, on Deep Creek. A tract of land (three hundred and ninety acres), called "Partnership," was taken up and a furnace erected called "Pine Grove Furnace." The company was composed of Abraham Mitchell, hatter; Thomas and William Lightfoot, merchants of Philadelphia, and Walter and Samuel Franklin, merchants of New York. On the 9th of November, 1768, Walter and Samuel Franklin bought two-fifths interest in the property of the others. This deed recites that the "company had purchased several tracts of land and procured sundry warrants for others and located some parcels thereon in ye counties of Worcester, Dorsett and Summersett, in Maryland, now likely to belong under ye government of New Castle, Kent and Sussex, on Delaware, in ye county of Sussex, all which tracts of land and warrants have been procured for ye use and promotion of Pine Grove Furnace, now erected on Deep Creek." It is also recited that on the tract was ''ye furnace, saw-mill, grist-mill, domo houses and buildings." A tract of two acres, called ''Adam's Folly," embracing the mill pond, was near the tract. "New Ireland; "five hundred acres lay west of the Furnace Tract or "Partnership." "Cook's Chance," two hundred acres, was in Broadkill Forest and eight hundred and fifty acres in Care's Neck, on Gravelly Branch, in Nanticoke Hundred, on which, in later years, Collins' Forge was built; also the interest "of all ye iron ore and mines" in a tract called "Mile's End," of three hundred acres, and one hundred acres, part of a tract called " Pilson's Lot," both on Barren Creek, in what is now Wicomico County, Maryland, with privilege to dig and carry away all ores obtained thereon. The company also had rights in several warrants from the Penns not then located, one dated August 29, 1764, which called for two thousand acres near Deep Creek; one for five thousand acres between Deep Creek, Broad Creek, Nanticoke River and Stony Branch; and five other warrants granted by the proprietors of Maryland for different quantities of land. But little is known concerning the operation of the company, except that business was vigorously conducted until the blockading of the Chesapeake Bay during the Revolution, when work was suspended, as were all the furnaces and forges in the vicinity. The company built a road from the furnace to the landing at the point in later years known as Outten's Landing, to which place the iron was drawn and loaded in vessels and shipped to Scotland and England.

The landing was directly opposite "Old Meadow," the landing-place of the Deep Creek Furnace Company, this being the highest point to which vessels could come up the Nanticoke. It was still later called "Calloway's Harbor." On the 8th of March, 1778, Walter Franklin purchased the remaining fifth inter-est of the furnace, and became the sole proprietor "with all houses, edifices, mills, mill-seats and furnaces." The employees of the furnace joined the army, the same as those of other furnaces, and the business was abandoned. Walter Franklin died in 1778, and his executor, Samuel Franklin, November 12, 1791, sold the rights of the heirs to the property to Ebenezer Gracey, of Darby, Connecticut, and Theophilus Brower, of New York, both merchants. On the 8th of August, 1793, "all those certain iron works called Pine Grove Furnace," with the lands belonging there to, were sold to Seth Griffith and William Elgate Hitch. The mills were still in operation, a distillery was added, in 1796 the town of Concord was laid out around the little settlement, the name of "Pine Grove Furnace'' was entirely abandoned, and the thriving village took its place. The interest of William E. Hitch passed to Thomas Laws in September, 1796, who in the same year, with Seth Griffith, laid out the town. The road crossed over the dam, and when it passed through the town was named Washington Street; the mill and distillery was on the west side of the road. A Street on the east side, parallel with Washington, was named Green, on which was one house, and between Washington and Green Streets was a large mansion-house. Parallel with Washington Street west was Liberty Alley, between which was a block extending to Market Street, on which were two houses, and one house still west to Shippen Street, which was the last street west and joined William Anderson and Elzy Spicer's lands, which were sold to them by Griffith and Hitch, August 15, 1796, and upon them their respective houses stood. The old landing-place, about two miles below and known in later years as Outten Landing, also Cherry Tree Landing, was sold by Griffith and Laws to John Outten, January 11, 1797. The streets running at right angles with Washington were First, Second and Third. There were in all one hundred and fifty-nine lots laid out, mostly sixty by one hundred and ninety-eight feet. On the 17th of June, 1803, Griffith and Laws sold to Robert Boyce fifty-two lots in the town.

Thomas Laws sold the tan-yard and store and lots to John Houston, son of Robert, who continued the tan-yard and store at the place now owned and occupied by Dr. Robert G. Ellegood. John Houston also built schooners, one of one hundred and fifty tons burthen, at or near the Pine Grove Furnace. They were lightered down to Cherry Tree or Outten's Landing. In this house Judge John W. Houston and Dr. David Houston were born. John Houston continued in business until his death, in 1828. Seth Griffith married a daughter of Robert Houston, and a sister of John. Joshua Ellegood married Ann Griffith, daughter of Seth Griffith. Dr. Robert G. Ellegood is their son.

Thomas Laws removed to Philadelphia and was engaged in the leather business in that city, and Houston shipped his hides to him.

Seth Griffith had a tavern on the corner of Main and Washington Streets, where he lived and died in 1814. The tavern had been in operation before 1800. The first store was opened soon after 1800 by Seth Griffith and John Bell, and was on the corner of Washington and Main Streets, and the store-house is still standing in the rear of the present store-house of G. A. Phillips & Brother. M. Stewart and John Jefferson had an interest in the mill and store later. On Water and Market Streets was a store (still standing) which was later kept by Boyce & Phillips and L. H. Smith. A store was kept in 1831 by Alfred Cottingham on Washington and Main Streets; it was burned down in 1844. Lewis Spicer's store was on the south side of Main Street as early as 1830. It was later owned by Joseph Neal, George W. Collins and Samuel Jefferson in 1844, and last by Phillips & Morgan. It is now a dwelling.

The Mill and Distillery (the latter of which was suspended about 1820), and the mill passing to Alexander White and Edward Dougherty before 1816. One- half interest was owned by Robert Boyce, and an interest was owned by Michael Stewart. In 1832 it passed to Joseph Chipman, who continued it until his death, in 1840. It was then sold to George W. Green, who kept a store and run the mill. Green sold to George Vincent, who continued it until September, 1872, when it was sold to Isaac and James W. Cannon, the present owners; the store of Jesse Green was run from 1810 until his death in 1834. John Hootton, Esq. also had a store before 1810 and many yean later in the house already mentioned as occupied b; him.

In 1809 the following persons were lot-owners in Concord:

John Fletcher, one house and lot
Heirs of James George, one house and two lots
Jesse Green
Seth Griffith
Robert Boyce
Levin Stuart
Michael Stuart
John Jefferson.

The Jesse Green mentioned was born January 12, 1766. He descended from Thomas Green and was a lineal descendant of George Calvert, the first Lord Baron of Baltimore. Thomas Green came to this country with Lord Baltimore and married his daughter, Lady Winifred. Jesse Green came to this country from Alexander, July, 1790, and married a Mrs. Ruchanon, who soon after died, leaving one son, William, who died many years ago. He later married Elizabeth, the granddaughter of Col. John Gunby, of the Revolution, and who lived at Snow Hill. His son James lived between Millsboro and Concord. Green settled first at Seaford. After the death of his first wife he returned to Alexandria, and was engaged in merchandising. He remained but a short time, however, and returned and settled at Concord, and engaged in merchandising and shipping. He amassed considerable wealth, owning over three thousand two hundred acres of land in the vicinity. He was adjutant-general of the State militia for a number of years and served thirty-one years in the General Assembly, the longest term ever known. He was Speaker. He died in 1834, and is buried in Concord. The old mansion house is still standing.

A post-office has been established here for years. Among those who have been postmasters are George Grimes, Joseph Neal, Isaac Adams, George W. Collins, Isaac P. Jefferson, John S. Smith, Jacob W. Morgan, James H. Radcliff, James Butler, J. M. Outten and James T. Smith.

Concord Methodist Episcopal Church
This church was formed in the year 1804. August 24th of that year Robert Boyce conveyed to John Jefferson, Elijah Morgan, Arabel Philips, Adam Short, Covington Messick, John Lord, John Culbrey, Charles Brown and Thomas Truitt two lots, seventy-eight by seventy-nine feet, "in village of Concord, on Deep Creek," which was nearly fronting the school-house. It embraced three-eighths of an acre. The church was then standing and in use. The Old church was unfinished for many years, and in the year 1841 was torn down and rebuilt with the entrance changed from the east side to the north. In 1870 this church was torn down and October 9, 1870, the present building was dedicated. Services were held by the Revs. J. B. Merritt, R. Todd and J. O. Sypherd. The church has been supplied with pastors from Dover, Milford, Seaford, Bridgeville and Cannon's. The ministers will be found in articles upon those circuits.

There are two schools in the town. The one on the north side, in District 58, was erected in 1804 and is still standing. The one on the south side was erected in 1864. There are now three general stores, blacksmith and wheelwright shop, and grist and stave-mill and a population of three hundred persons.

Physicians
Dr. Thomas Adams, member of the Convention of 1831, came to Concord about 1825, and died here in 1846. Dr. Waitman Jones succeeded him, and prior to his practicing medicine Dr. Jones taught in schools all over the country. Dr. James Fisher was here in 1848, and died in 1860.

Robert Griffith Ellegood was born March 15, 1828. He is a descendant of William Ellegood, a native of Wales, who emigrated from Wales to the eastern shore of Virginia in 1750, but removed, shortly afterwards, near Concord and took up a number of tracts of land and died in 1790. Four sons, Thomas, John, William and Robert, and one daughter, Mrs. Sally Hitch, survive him.

Robert Ellegood was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He married Mary B. Adkinson, of St. Mary's County, Maryland. Four children were born of this union, viz.: William, Joshua A., Thomas and Sarah. The father of Dr. Robert Q. was Joshua A., born on the old homestead in 1789. He died in 1845, and was a man of influence, having held the office of justice of the peace for fourteen years. He married Miss Ann Griffith, daughter of Col. Seth and Nancy (Houston) Griffith.

Dr. Ellegood attended the district schools until fourteen years of age, after which he spent three years at the Laurel Academy. The death of his father prevented his completing his educational plans until he had reached his twenty-first year, when he began the study of medicine with Dr. James H. Fisher. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Medical College in 1852 and opened an office in the home of his birth where his ability has won for him a position of prominence in the medical profession of the State and country. His medical brethren have elected him president of the County and State Medical Association and he is a member of the American Medical Associations. In public affairs he has held an honored position in the councils of the Democratic Party. He has represented his hundred in the Legislature and has held the position of Auditor of Accounts for three terms, conducting the business with signal ability. In State and County Conventions he has been a prominent figure. He is now a member of the State Board of Health. The Doctor is also extensively engaged in farming. He was married July 28, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Nutter and Margaret Cannon. The doctor has two sons in practice, Robert, at home in Concord, and Joshua A., who has acquired a large practice in Laurel.

Bethel

 The town of Bethel up to January 7, 1880, was known as Lewisville, when it was made a post-office and William T. Moore appointed post-master. Kendall Lewis, a sailor, was probably the founder of the town. In the early part of the present century he built a wharf at this point, which was known for years as Lewis' Wharf and afterwards as Lewisville. It was a great shipping point to Baltimore for all the section for miles about, as many as fifteen vessels plying between here and Baltimore. William Whiteley had a small store for a short time. Byard Moore opened a store about 1841 and was succeeded by Thomas Knowles, who is now succeeded by J. B. Quillen & Company. The little town is a thriving place and the most important of its size on the Peninsula. There are four general stores. The building of boats has been carried on to some extent since 1866, when John Windsor built several boats. Jonathan Cathell built boats after him. The present enterprise, George K. Philips & Company (George K. Philips, John M. C. Moore and William T. Moore) is the most important south 'ef Wilmington. They have the only marine railway south of Wilmington. It was put in in 1869 and will hold vessels of three hundred and twenty-five tons burthen. They have built ten boats. Their work, however, is mostly repairing. The firm have also a planing and saw-mill annexed, with a capacity for sawing five thousand feet and dressing five thousand feet a day. The saw-mill was put in in 1885. They employ twenty hands and have a capital of eight thousand dollars. The town has a fine school building, erected in 1886, with an attendance of fifty scholars.

The Indian Hill Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men
Was organized October 8, 1883, and incorporated at the Legislature of 1887. The first officers were: Prophet, William T. Moore; Sachem, James H. Wright; Senior Sagamore, James B. Conoway; Chief of Records, John M. C. Moore; Keeper of Wampum, J. B. Quillen. The officers for the term ending April 4, 1888, are: Prophet, Isaac T. Hearn; Sachem, F. S. Burford; Senior Sagamore, S. J. Wheatley; Junior Sagamore, H. W. Phillips; Chief of Records, James B. Conaway; and Keeper of Wampum, John B. Quillen. There is a membership of twenty.

Sycamore Store was established in 1837 by Philip Short, and has since been kept by Henry Hudson, Robert Frame, Dr. William S. Hitch, Noah Jones, Smith Hitchens, Jr., Thomas Dukes, George W. Bryan, who was made a postmaster in June, 1887.

Mills

The excellent mill facilities afforded by the streams in the hundred were early taken advantage of, and mills sprung up on most all the streams almost as soon as the settlements were made; indeed, a great many of the early settlements were made in the vicinity of Bull's Mills, as it has been known for several years back. These are probably the oldest of any mills in the hundred. These mills are situated near the head of Broad Creek, and Gray's Branch. Joseph Collins built the mills prior to 1760, and they continued in his possession until about 1780. The mill-seat had originally been granted to John Philips, and afterwards to Ezekiel Timmons. August 12, 1786, John Collins, the son of Joseph, conveyed in all four hundred and twenty acres, including the mill-lot, grist and two saw-mills, these including what was afterwards known as the Melson Mills, to his son, Joseph S. Collins; the latter owner was the father of Betty Scroggin, the wife of Samuel Scroggin, who sold the mill to Manaen Bull, September 22, 1794. Nathaniel Mitchell had an interest in the property for a short time, but it was of short duration. John Hopkins owned the mills after Bull, and then James Hopkins owned a two-thirds interest, and Spicer White one-third interest, and then the next owners were Isaac Hopkins and Henry R. Pepper. The present owners are William M. Boyce, James Rawlins and William Whaley. The saw-mill went down about five years ago. The capacity of the grist-mill is about fifty bushels a day.

The Melson Mills are situated above the Bull Mill, and were built about the same time by Collins. They came into possession of James and William Melson, after Joseph and John Melson; they have always been saw-mills, with the exception that John Melson built a grist-mill, which was only operated during his lifetime. Joseph Melson held one-half interest and four hundred and fifty acres of land, and John Melson the other half and five hundred and fifty acres. James Conoway and Ebe Walters were owners for a time. About twenty-five years ago the "Little Mill" was owned by John Rodney, of David, and then Robert Rodney. The "Big Mill" came to William J. Warington and Robert Lamden. The small mill stopped in 1882. George W, Megee is now running the large mill.

Chipman's Mills is situated about two miles from Laurel, near the Episcopal Church, and was built by John Chipmen about the beginning of the present century. They include a saw-mill, grist-mill and carding-machine. John Chipman transferred his interest to his son, Joseph Chipman, in 1832. The mills are now owned by John H. and William Chipman, great-grandchildren of John Chipman. The carding-ma-chine was built by Joseph Chipman, who also ran a grist-mill. The present grist-mill was built by the present proprietors in 1884, and has a capacity of fifty bushels per day, the carding machine seventy-five pounds, and the saw-mill eight hundred feet.

Warren's or Hitches Mill was situated on Broad Creek, about one mile below the forge. It came into the possession of Caleb Roes, father of Governor Boas, who purchased of Nelly Warren, and in 1804 it was sold to William Hitch. The mill has been out of use since 1880. Among the other old mills in the hundred that are now out of use are Short's Mill, which went down in 1860, and is situated a short distance from Concord; John Grace's mill, that went down seventy years ago; the Elliot Mill which was owned by Meshack Elliot, and which included a saw and grist-mill and carding-machine, and was situated on the same stream as Chipman's mill, went down over forty years ago; the Nathan Saunders saw-mill, situated down the stream below the Hudson and Matthews mill, was in existence in 1800; and Vinson's mill, which in 1816 was owned by Mary Vinson, and which was built as early as 1790, is entirely gone. It included a saw and grist-mill

White Oak Steam Saw Mill
This mill is located one mile from Sycamore, and seven from Laurel, and was started by B. H. Elliott. It was afterwards owned by John Thomson and Thomas Burton. In 1830 G. F. Elliott and B. H. Elliott came into possession as Elliott & Son, and have been running it since that time about six months in the year, sawing eight thousand feet of lumber a day.

Sussex County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

 
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